Geolocation: What it is and How it's used in Daily Life

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Geolocation: what it is & How it's used in Daily Life
Mobytelab Team

Mobytelab Team

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For general business, geolocation has created many more effective ways to interact with customers, therefore it has brought the marketing strategy to a new level. It even established some new business that can’t exist without technology.

In app development, the ability to integrate geolocation in the mobile app has opened the door for new app ideas. This enhances the crucial role of technology in our modern life. The trend of geolocation has densely entrenched in the mobile application market and even created a new niche in app development.

Some applications are entirely based on geolocation technology. Many others take advantage of it as an additional feature to take their service to a higher level.

In case you haven’t known clearly about geolocation technology…

Geolocation is an API proposed by the World Wide Web Consortium in 2008 and now standard in mobile devices and browsers that support HTML5. With the HTML5 geolocation standard, a web or mobile app just needs a little JavaScript to use the WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID or GPS signal from your computer or phone to figure out where you are.

Categorizing this kind of apps is not as easy as it seems as many features are overlapped, complement each other. So we’re trying to give you ideas of how you can take advantage of this technology in your future app development. They could be already used, or not.

The magic of geolocation technology

1. Apps for maps and navigation

Application as a service that helps to navigate the terrain — obviously it’s the first function to mention when we talk about GPS-based apps. A solid navigation app offers turn-by-turn directions, bicycle routes, traffic updates, as well as walking and public transport directions and offline maps.

As Google Maps provides an ultimate package of all functions above, it has built its own throne in this kingdom over the last couple of years and is the one that most people think of when it comes to navigation app. Hence, it’s nearly impossible to compete. However, you can come up with some brilliant ideas to implement some unique features to your apps, as well as determine your own target users, as many other navigation apps have done. By doing that you still have the chance to make your apps survive in this niche.

2. Apps for place/ event recommendations

Many people find that this function is incredibly useful, as there are lots of moments in their life they want to find some specific places nearby in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, such as restaurants, shops, hospitals, or gas station etc.

Imagine you go to an area for the first time and want to find a restaurant. Is it wonderful when you get some recommendations from your acquaintances? It is more trustable, isn’t it? Based on this practical idea app developers can create some features that let users express their preferences, make their rates and recommendations. So people in their community can refer when needed.

With creators’ endless creativity, we believe that they will have many ways to create their own styles to attract users. For example, the recently released app Alike is designed to recommend you with restaurants, bars, and cafes that are “alike” to the spots that you’ve already favoured, but in your proximity.

Or they can find some interesting events held around their area on a boring day. Another great example is Meetup, which suggests users local meet-ups, groups or clubs based on their interests and how far they are willing to travel.

3. Apps for weather forecast & threats notifications

Weather apps are the most leading category among GPS/ location-based apps. Apps like Yahoo Weather and Weather Underground use geolocation data to increase usability and skip a few steps between the consumer and the product.

Besides, the modern world is threatened with acts of terrorism, natural and human-instigated disasters happening daily. This kind of app can provide users with immediate notifications based on the automated analysis of local online newspapers. LastQuake (France) and FEMA (USA) offer information about limited types of events, quakes and weather-related respectively, but the world still lacks a sophisticated solution in this field.

4. On-demand services

The technology of geolocation has enabled a new way to provide such services as taxi, delivery or domestic issues assistance. Talking about this category, we should mention Uber and Lyft. The concept is ridiculously simple and unbelievably disruptive. You download the app, Uber uses your GPS to connect you with the nearest available driver, so you can get picked up literally anywhere. There are fare estimates, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying (much, much less than regular taxi fares FYI), and you can pay in-app — so no need to run to a cashpoint.

5. Apps for finding people

Apps that help to connect people according to their business or private interests. This kind of apps includes apps for tracking geolocation of family members and friends; safety apps, dating apps and communication apps.

There is an app called ‘Hppn’ which took a crazy idea of making friends you’ve been physically nearby within this day. It shows you user profiles of people who drove the same bus or sat with you in the same café. And you can connect with them.

6. Apps for content available only in certain locations

How magical it is if you could accomplish some tasks or get some information only when you enter, pass by or leave some certain locations. By this method, brands can attract more visitors to their less popular venues by offering on-the-spot discounts.

For example, Shopkick location-aware app gives users points (which they call ‘kicks’) that can be exchanged for discounts or gift сertificates when they enter certain shops. There are some other interesting ideas of this act such as an app that reminds users about events that took place at the same spot, or notify people when you’re check-in in or check out their workplace.

7. Health and fitness apps

Apps that use GPS data for tracking sports activities and patterns are not new. Many health and fitness apps use the geolocation feature to use GPS data for tracking the sports activities, such as running, swimming, etc, of their users.

8. Augmented/virtual realities

Last but not least, 2016 seems to be a year of augmented/virtual realities. With the help of geolocation, this experience will be more bright and complete. Take Pokemon Go for example: Getting inspired by the famous cartoon character and combining with geolocation technology and augmented reality, altogether it became a real hit that mopped up the world last year. The game has brought geolocation technology into the spotlight.


There are so many opportunities for creative creators to use geolocation technology as the foundation for new businesses. Geolocation technology has something to offer beyond these ideas suggested above. There are still a lot of potentials of geolocation that are waiting to be dug by hard-working and smart miners.

You just got to think about what activities are location-related and where would people love to see a little bit of automation. Make good use of geolocation technology can enhance your app or fuel your startup!


Mobytelab focuses on software consultant, product design, UI/UX design, web & mobile application development and ASO.

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